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Tech for Tykes: 10 great gadgets for moms and tots.

Whether you're a new mom (or an InstaMom) with a kiddo in a cradle, or a rug-rat who is up and running around, these are the gadgets to help you keep an eye on them or keep them entertained--and you sane.

1. Mini Mobile

These days even the littlest kids can get use out of a cell phone, whether they are keeping in touch with family members or, heaven forbid, they need to be able to call for an emergency. But most phones are overly complex and not really up to the wear and tear kids can put on them. Enter the Firefly, a phone designed especially for kids, with large buttons, simple menus and handy features such as games, an MP3 player and a one-touch emergency button. They're easy on mom's pocket too, starting at $50 and with prepaid plans so you can keep a handle on costs. ($50, firefiymobile.com)

2. Rocklin' Cotton

Is your little one eager to unleash their inner Melissa Etheridge, Kaki King or Anne McCue? Then the Electric Rock Guitar tee from Think Geek will have them strumming with joy. This shirt, which doubles as an instrument, features an easy but fully playable guitar which includes all the major chords. Simply wave the magnetic pick above the strings and commence rocking out. It also comes with a matching mini guitar amp that clips to a belt and can be dialed up to, you guessed it, 11. ($20, thinkgeek.com)

3. Age-Appropriate Aperture

Kids love taking pictures, but handing over the family camera is a risky and potentially pricey proposition, which is why Crayola's digital camera just for kids is so fantastic. This tough as nails and simple to use camera makes taking pictures with little hands a snap, plus the dual side handgrips seriously up the odds that your petite photographer will be able to keep a hold of it. ($70, hammacher.com)

4. Tablet for Tykes

Help your kids get a jump on their education with Leap Frog's LeapPad, a tablet built just for them. Like a traditional tablet, the LeapPad has a built in camera, touch screen and apps. It comes with over 100 books, games and videos that are both educational and entertaining. Built to be resilient to the bumps and drops of little ones, the LeapPad features content designed to help with all aspects of your child's learning, encouraging their imagination and creativity. ($99, leapfrog.com)

5. Tracking Trifecta

While a baby monitor may help you keep a close ear on your gayby, Angelcare's 3-in-1 digital video, sound and movement baby monitor takes it to a whole other level. The two-way monitor allows you to not only hear but soothe your little one with the sound of your voice. The camera provides a live feed transmission that is crystal clear and transitions easily into the dark with night vision. But what makes this package truly stand out is the under-the-mattress sensor that monitors baby's movements and will notify you when they wake up before they even have a chance to cry. ($300, angelcare-monitor.com)

6. Bottle Rocket

For the mombian on the go, the Yoomi is a lifesaver. If you've ever had to deal with a hungry baby you know that time is of the essence, because they go from cranky to meltdown fast. Fortunately, this self-heating bottle and warmer safely heats a toddler's tipple to breast temperature in just 60 seconds. Yoomi means no more hunting down a hot cup of water when the clock starts ticking down on that hungry kiddo bomb. ($33, yoomi.com)

7. Bright Idea

Up until now, pacifiers have pretty much doubled as kootie factories. How often have you seen this move; pacifier is in the mouth, falls on the floor, kid grabs it and pops it back in their mouth, Gross, but true. However, there is hope for pacifier-kind: the Pipila. This baseball-sized gadget can sanitize the grimiest of pacifiers in just three minutes thanks to its built in germ-busting UV light. Hooray! ($35, pipilausa.com)

8. Galaxy Grub

Make dinnertime flashy and fun for your little geeklet with the Star Trek Enterprise light up feeding system. This adorable and easy to clean motion controlled bib and spoon helps keep fussy eaters' attention with flashing lights which "guide" the spoon in for a landing. Which means all you have to do is set course for pureed carrots and ... engage. ($18, thinkgeek.com)

9. Star Gazer

Want to give your kid the Sun, Moon and stars? Well, good news: now you can with Star Theater Pro Home Planetarium. This top-of-the-line projector offers viewers a window into the wonders of astronomy and can be set to slowly rotate to offer that authentic feeling of gazing into the night sky, but with creature comforts like climate control. It also has an auto shutoff function, so feel free to fall asleep without fear of any unnecessary wear and tear on our planet. ($170, thinkgeek.com)

10. Your Secret Sleepy Weapon

So you've finally got baby to sleep and schlepped your way back to bed, only to hear the warning cry of a cranky and very awake kid. Well, good news, there's a new secret weapon in the battle of the bedtime: the Voice Activated Crib Light with womb sounds. At the first sign of a wakeful child the two-pronged soothing attack begins. First a colored light begins cycling in a calming pattern, then the womb sounds kick in and bam, it's lights-out for the little one. You're welcome. ($15, thinkgeek.com)
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Author:Shatto, Rachel
Publication:Curve
Article Type:Buyers guide
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 1, 2012
Words:924
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